EIT InnoEnergy launches new programme to address energy storage skills gap

100,000 new jobs anticipated each year from 2020 to drive €255 billion market

Demand for sustainable energy sources is growing exponentially around the globe.

International conflicts, climate change, water scarcity and increasing public awareness are just some of the issues shifting the narrative on energy, and driving a worldwide transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources.

As the global energy revolution gathers momentum, another challenge has appeared. Balancing supply with demand on the grid with wind, solar or tidal is contingent on being able to somehow address intermittency issues and store this energy for distributed use.

Storage is fast becoming the defining issue in sustainable energy. And advances in this pivotal field are set to drive an unprecedented boom – and a worldwide demand for as yet unavailable talent.

In Europe alone, battery represents a €255billion opportunity. To service this opportunity, the European Battery Alliance estimates that in excess of 100,000 new jobs will need to be created every year from 2020. The demand for professionals with the advanced engineering skills and management competences to fill these jobs, experts, is set to become acute.

To meet this demand, EIT InnoEnergy, has announced a new addition to its sustainable energy learning portfolio.

The Master’s in Energy Storage , which launches in September 2019, aims to equip students with a raft of technical competences that covers the full spectrum of storage technologies from battery to thermal, magnetic and electromagnetic, pumped hydropower, synthetic and biofuels. In tandem to this, the programme is designed to accelerate business management, entrepreneurial and digitalisation skills – and what its designers call “an innovation mindset.”

“This is an industry in transformation,” says Frank Gielen, Education Director at EIT InnoEnergy. “Energy storage is set to totally reshape the grid in coming years. And as this market expands and the technologies themselves evolve, there is going to be an unprecedented need for professionals who have both the technical clout and the kind of entrepreneurial capabilities to answer immediate challenges, spot new issues and opportunities and join the dots with speed and flexibility.”

For this “new generation” of professionals, he says, the professional possibilities are “boundless.”

“Energy storage is a transversal challenge. It touches every discipline, every technology, every field in the renewable value chain and it sits at the very core of energy transition paradigm, of industry 4.0 and worldwide sustainability. And the professionals that we need to drive all of this are just not there yet. So young people graduating from this Master’s will be positioned right at the forefront of a new revolution – in the fastest growing, most innovative and industry-critical markets in sustainable energy. They will quite simply have their pick of career opportunities, including entirely new jobs and professional streams that are yet to be created.”

As with other Master’s programmes in the InnoEnergy portfolio, the Master’s in Energy Storage will be delivered over two years by a number of leading-edge European universities with input from some of the continent’s foremost business schools. Students will also have access to industry practitioners for project and field work and will be exposed to case-based learning opportunities.

It’s an approach, says Frank Gielen, that leverages the InnoEnergy ecosystem – a consortium of universities, business schools, industry leaders and Europe’s largest start-up accelerator – to give students “a uniquely rounded and international perspective” on the technical and business dimensions of sustainable energy.

“Students coming into the programme can choose between three universities to pursue the first year, where the core disciplines and business principles are consolidated. In year two they switch to the second university of their choice to pursue their specialism through their Master’s thesis where they will focus on stationary applications or electric mobility.”

Universities delivering the programme are:

InnoEnergy expects demand for the new Master’s in Energy Storage to be high as students understand the personal and professional benefits and advantages of the programme, along with the potential for global impact in the market.

“Energy storage is at the bottom hearth of energy efficiency, industry 4.0 and energy efficiency in the intensive energy industry,” says Frank Gielen. And the world is still very far from this goal.

“The energy intensive industry is still under vision mode, but new policies and regulations are coming in force and a huge reconversion is now on the cards. For InnoEnergy students, the possibilities are just huge. They will emerge with the training and mindset, and the chance to fully leverage of strong start-up and industry ecosystem and play a critical part in the decarbonisation of land, sea and air. The future is theirs for the taking.”

Are you ready to step up the challenge and launch a world-class career at the forefront of energy storage?  Apply to MSc Energy Storage before 10 June application deadline to build the new-generation knowledge, skills and mindset to leverage a world of opportunities!